Gorgan, Al Riyadi duke it out in awaited rematch; Alkaramah aim for payback versus Al Naft
BEIRUT (Lebanon) - Expect fireworks to come when Al Riyadi and Gorgan square off in a rematch of budding WASL-West Asia rivals on Wednesday night.
The Lebanese ball club is keen on keeping mastery of their foes after reigning triumphant in their first encounter last December 21, 81-74, at the Saeb Salam Stadium but the Iranian side surely does not want that to happen.
After figuring in an emotional clash before a hostile crowd then, Gorgan now have the homecourt advantage as they play at the Azadi Basketball Hall in Tehran.
18 January 2023
Gorgan vs Al Riyadi - 18:00 GMT+3:30 - Tehran, Azadi Basketball Hall
19 January 2023
Al Naft vs Alkaramah - 18:00 GMT+3 - Baghdad, Al Shaeb Hall
Both teams are coming off successful outings, with Gorgan riding the wave of momentum of their two-game winning streak -- the most recent of which was a dominant 110-69 mauling of the erstwhile unbeaten Al Naft.
Al Riyadi, on the other hand, previously took down Alkaramah on the road by way of an 89-67 result, and are definitely looking to build another win run after seeing their bid of going 3-0 get spoiled by Edgar Sosa and the team from Iraq.
Group B is the only pool in all of WASL that has no undefeated team, but the target of all four squads, without a shadow of a doubt, is getting as many wins as they can with the preliminary round about to enter its crucial stretch.
And the one hoping to get in the mix are Alkaramah, who aim to end their winless run against Al Naft on Thursday at the latter's home turf in Al Shaeb Hall, with payback in their minds after being humiliated by the latter at home.
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Amir Saoud wasn't around when Al Riyadi battled Gorgan, but he should be a marked man for the latter for Wednesday night's affair.
In just the two games he's played thus far, the 31-year-old guard has emerged as WASL-West Asia's fourth-best scorer with 24.5 points on 64.3-percent field goal shooting. He's also averaging 2.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists.
Saoud starred in their conquest of Alkaramah, firing 26 points on a 9-of-14 clip from the floor as Al Riyadi hardly missed Wael Arakji's absence thanks to him.